This is page numbers 4103 - 4182 of the Hansard for the 18th Assembly, 3rd Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was going.

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Question 343-18(3): Net Metering
Oral Questions

Page 4120

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my questions today are for the Minister responsible for the Public Utilities Board. Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories is doing some good work as it relates to our responsibility in lowering our emissions and working towards energy efficiency. I think Northerners are doing a good job at the same thing, finding ways in which to lower their energy costs, but businesses, commercial enterprises, they want the same opportunity, Mr. Speaker. They are some of our biggest emitters, after all, and so solar is an enticing opportunity for them, but, right now, when they crunch the numbers, it just does not seem to work out. I would just like to start by asking the Minister: can the Minister maybe explain the rationale for the policy that seems to be limiting alternative-energy projects to 15 kilowatt hours? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 343-18(3): Net Metering
Oral Questions

Page 4120

The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Masi. Minister responsible for the Public Utilities Board.

Question 343-18(3): Net Metering
Oral Questions

Page 4120

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, in the previous Assembly, the Minister responsible for the PUB and Cabinet of the day provided some direction to the PUB to develop some principles when assessing net metering here in the Northwest Territories. Part of that direction included a capacity of 15 kilowatts, as the Member has identified. Those instructions are available online at the PUB's website. In this Assembly, with respect to Mandate 1.4.6, this Assembly agreed that we will support net metering through clear policy direction to the PUB to provide clarity to allow customers to recover their investments in renewable energy.

Mr. Speaker, one of the reasons 15 kilowatts was identified is recognizing that savings realized by residents and business participating in net metering are eventually passed along to residents and businesses who do not have the financial wherewithal to actually invest in privately owned energy alternatives, so we needed to make sure that there was not too much cost going on all the residents who could not afford to necessarily move forward with green technology.

Question 343-18(3): Net Metering
Oral Questions

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Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

I appreciate where the Minister is coming from, but one of the things that has been identified recently is the Northwest Territories Chamber of Commerce has done some work as it relates to a significant recent reduction in small to medium business enterprises, and part of the reason, we have learned, as to why --

Question 343-18(3): Net Metering
Oral Questions

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Member for Yellowknife North, we only have six more minutes and we have another Member, so, if you can, get to the question. Also, shorten the answers, as well. Masi.

Question 343-18(3): Net Metering
Oral Questions

Page 4121

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I will do my best. So I guess we are seeing a downturn in small businesses, and one of the arguments is that it's due to energy costs, so it seems to me that changing a policy to allow businesses to become more efficient would be the right thing to do. Will the Minister maybe consider directing the board to increase the 15 kilowatt hour to 50 kilowatt hour to make it more economical for businesses to consider alternative energy?

Question 343-18(3): Net Metering
Oral Questions

Page 4121

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

In response to the mandate, Cabinet committed to addressing that meeting through a public review of the GNWT's draft energy strategy, and to either amend or reconfirm the previous Cabinet's policy direction around that meeting as required. The public review on the energy strategy is now complete. It is my understanding that no issues were identified which required any revisions to our strategy. We're open to have additional discussion on this, but I will remind the Member that one of the main reasons we supported net metering is to help green, to provide more green energy and get off carbon. I am curious whether the Member is talking about providing net metering to businesses in hydro zones or thermal zones?

Question 343-18(3): Net Metering
Oral Questions

Page 4121

Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

I appreciate the answer. I'm talking about thermal or hydro. I mean, arguably, Yellowknife is a mix of both. We have spent $30 million in fuel subsidizing our hydro system in recent years. I asked this question during budget deliberations, and the answer that I got was that because we need to preserve NTPC's infrastructure costs. Somehow, we can't allow big generators of power to come online, or else that would interrupt how we operate as it relates to the power corporation. Mr. Speaker, it would seem to me that we would be wanting ---

Question 343-18(3): Net Metering
Oral Questions

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Member Yellowknife North, what's your question?

Question 343-18(3): Net Metering
Oral Questions

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Cory Vanthuyne Yellowknife North

The question is: why would we invite other big providers of power to come online and help the Power Corporation to reduce its costs so that we can all get a little bit more affordable power?

Question 343-18(3): Net Metering
Oral Questions

Page 4121

Glen Abernethy Great Slave

One of the reasons we do net metering, as I've indicated, is to support getting off carbon and utilizing green technologies. In a hydro zone, the cost of providing power is set based on the equipment and machinery we have in place. By bringing in more hydro or solar power, we are actually increasing the cost of those individuals who don't have the wherewithal, financial wherewithal, to actually invest.

If the Member is talking about thermal zones, I am totally open to having the discussion about providing greater kilowatt hour for businesses, but in a hydro zone, it is going to drive up the cost for the net users, which includes everybody who can't afford to put in hydro. For thermal zones, I am available for the conversation.

Question 343-18(3): Net Metering
Oral Questions

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Oral questions. Member for Deh Cho.

Question 344-18(3): Upgrade to Kakisa Dock
Oral Questions

May 31st, 2018

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Michael Nadli Deh Cho

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, my questions are to the Minister of Infrastructure. I want to thank the Minister for attending a constituency tour on May 8th, when we met people in Kakisa, and then we raised the concerns about the dock in their community and its condition. I was very encouraged by the recent announcement by the Ministers of Transportation and Infrastructure in the NWT, particularly the air transportation. My question is to the Minister of Infrastructure: what kind of plan of action does he intend to undertake to follow up from the meeting of May 8th in terms of addressing the concerns of the people of Kakisa? Thank you.

Question 344-18(3): Upgrade to Kakisa Dock
Oral Questions

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The Speaker Jackson Lafferty

Minister of Infrastructure.

Question 344-18(3): Upgrade to Kakisa Dock
Oral Questions

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Wally Schumann Hay River South

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am glad to inform the Member we have already directed our superintendent to reach out to the community, which they have. They are in discussions. We were going to provide assistance with the community on how to prepare their CAP proposal for this project through the Department of Infrastructure, and we will be working with them closely, and I will be following this project closely.